New Alternative Standard for Recreational Boating School

Video file


Canada’s recreational boating schools make our waters safer by providing hands-on training in pleasure craft operation.

But as a business, your school must comply with the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, not as it applies to pleasure craft but rather to commercial vessels.

That’s why Transport Canada has created the new Standard for Recreational Boating Schools — to help owners and operators better understand and meet these requirements.


[The owner speaks generally about the important role of recreational boating schools in making boating a safe activity.

Sample questions for interviewer:

  • Why is it important for boating schools to have a separate safety standard?
  • What is the difference between pleasure and commercial vessels?
  • How can a boating school best keep students safe?]

So how do you know if you can make use of the new Standard for Recreational Boating Schools?

The Standard applies if you are a recreational boating school that provides on-the-water training in sailboats or small motorboats.

Your vessels can be no longer than 15 meters…

…and can carry no more than 12 students.

Your vessels must operate within near coastal waters.


[The owner speaks generally about the importance of meeting the standard’s various safety and training requirements, and how the new Standard helps schools meet their legal obligations.

Sample questions:

  • How do these safety requirements benefit your school?
  • How does the standard help you meet your legal obligations?
  • How does filling out the form demonstrate due diligence?

The new Standard offers simple, easy-to-follow guidelines for everything you need to do to comply with the regulations.

It outlines your requirements related to personal and vessel safety equipment…

…the navigation equipment needed on your vessels…

…training standards and lesson plans for your courses…

...the certifications and training required by your instructors…

…the safety procedures and other operational requirements you need to follow…

…and contingency plans for dealing with emergencies like fire, equipment damage, and adverse weather conditions.

Finally, since the Recreational Boating School Standard is part of the Transport Canada Small Vessel Compliance Program, you will need to formally enrol your school. This can be done by filling out the easy to use checklist in the form “Recreational Boating School Report”

All the forms you’ll need to apply can be found on TCs website or located at your local Transport Canada office.


[The owner speaks generally about the newfound ease of complying with the CSA 2001 and how the new Standard makes it easier to meet the obligations for their recreational boating school.

Sample questions:

  • How has the Standard made operating your boating school easier?
  • Has it given you piece-of-mind?
  • How do the checklists benefit boating s schools like yours?]

If you meet all of the safety and operating requirements, you’ll be issued a Letter of Participation for the Small Vessel Compliance Program as it applies to the new standard.

This letter confirms your enrolment and participation with the Standard and, in turn, the Canada Shipping Act, 2001— meaning your school can continue to help make Canada’s waters a safer place.

For more information on how you can apply the Standard for Recreational Boating Schools at your location, please visit a Transport Canada office or the Transport Canada Marine Safety website.

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